These were the first 3D Metroid games. Apart from Pinball, they all have First-Person Shooter perspectives. However, Nintendo themselves bills the series as First-Person Adventure (think Zelda structure in first person)The main installments of the Prime sub-series were developed by Texas, USA-based Retro Studios, and has proven rather critically and commercially successful. The sub-series plot takes place between the original Metroid/Zero Mission and Metroid II: Return of Samus, and involves a radioactive mutagen named Phazon that arrives on mysterious comets and wreaks havoc on planetary environments. Samus spends most of the sub-series trying to stop the Phazon from turning various planets into dead husks, while at the same time, her Space Pirate enemies are trying to exploit the mutagen for their own evil plans, much like they did the Metroids before.In Prime, the planet hit happens to be Tallon IV, where Samus' Chozo guardians had a second home, and from which they have since vanished. This is due to a meteor charged with Phazon striking the planet, and spreading corruption in the form of Phazon, a dangerous mutagen and corruptive growth. Unfortunately, the Space Pirates see it as a valid power source to fuel their plans, and it's up to Samus to stop the Pirates and stem the tide of Phazon by entering the very meteor that began it all.Echoes sees a similar comet landing on a world named Aether, which is split into two worlds as a result of the crash. During the events of this game, Samus witnesses the rise of a new nemesis known as Dark Samus, an alter ego whose fuel and food is Phazon, resulting in major clashes between her and the Space Pirates. Parallel to that event, the residents of the darker world, the Ing have succeeded on exterminating a large population of the native inhabitants of the planet, the Luminoth, and without the latter's protection almost all of the planetary energy was taken by force to the other dimension. As Samus tries to investigate the activities of the Pirates in Aether, she also seeks to help the Luminoth to retrieve the lost energy and get rid of the Ing before it's too late.Corruption concludes the arc by having the Space Pirates manipulated by Dark Samus into finding the source of Phazon, and assaulting the Galactic Federation with a multi-pronged attack. This game is known for being set in an entire galaxy, as Samus ventures into multiple planets and space vessels (each with its own lore, scenery and content) to eradicate Phazon once and for all.Hunters is a Gaiden Game that takes place between Prime and Echoes, detailing a call from another galaxy about an incredible power available to the strongest warrior who comes to take it. Samus and six other Bounty Hunters step up to the plate, all for different reasons. Hunters' seven playable characters provided multiplayer opportunities, but the game was criticized by longtime series fans as a pandering attempt to win over Halo-style gamers, with limited success at best. A demo of Hunters, titled Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, was packaged with the original model Nintendo DS for a while - it featured three single-player modes and a multiplayer mode. The demo areas were worked into the maps of the final game.Pinball is a spin-off whose synopsis is a retelling of Prime's story via multiple stages of a pinball table.All three console games in the series were eventually re-released on the Wii as Metroid Prime Trilogy, together on one disc with updated Corruption-style controls for Prime and Echoes, along with a widescreen aspect ratio, bloom lighting and higher-quality textures, plus the token reward system and many of the sequence breaks from the first two games removed.
This videogame sub-series provides examples of:
100% Completion: Obvious as these are Metroid games, but notably this is now impossible to achieve legitimately in Corruption and Trilogy if you started a new game at any time after June 2013. Each of those games requires the player to trade friend vouchers over the internet... and the servers are now shut down. The only way around this is to download other players' 100% save files from gaming sites onto your SD card. If for whatever reason you cannot or choose not to... hope you can live without a bobblehead of your Mii on Samus' dashboard.
Actionized Sequel: Echoes upped the difficulty and frequency of combat sequences, and added more boss fights, as opposed to just one major boss per area in the first game. Corruption's new control scheme and addition of hypermode further contributed to increased combat sequences.
Ambiguous Robots: Meta Ridley qualifies, as there's little to indicate how much of him is still living and how much is robotic; the only visible organic parts are some muscles on his legs. By the end of Corruption, he's healed enough that his new flesh is beginning to push out some of the robotic parts on other sections of his body. Also, while it is difficult to take a close look at him in Prime since he's trying to kill you most of the time, his model in Super Smash Bros. Brawl depicts many areas of his body that are still organic, such as the top of his head.
Anti-Frustration Features: In Prime, attempting to navigate an obstacle that looks passable but actually isn't (such as a barely-out-of-reach ledge underwater without the Gravity Suit) a few times will bring up a prompt telling you to come back later with the proper powerup. There is also the Hint System in all three games; if you spend a long time dinking around and wandering, a prompt will appear and mark on your map your next destination. This can be disabled if you find it distracting, or want to find out where to go on your own.
Antimatter: The Annihilator Beam fires blasts of matter/antimatter.
Apocalyptic Log: Various lore scans. At various parts in all three games, the apocalypse described by the Pirate logs is Samus herself, as she rips through their forces, and generally leaves a wake of destruction and death. Played for Laughs in part of Echoes, when the Pirates realize they have not one but two Samuses attacking them.
The Artifact: Shooting doors to open them was breaking the lock/door. The visuals contradict the handwave. Echoes introduces a new Handwave, claiming the doors are protected by low-power energy shields, designed to be deactivated by weapons fire, to prevent the local fauna from opening them.
Artifact Title: Only the first game mentions "Metroid Prime" by name. You do encounter and battle with Dark Samus in the second and third games, but neither of those games mentions that Dark Samus is Metroid Prime (or indeed, anything else about Metroid Prime).
Art Evolution: Happens to the Space Pirates and Metroids in Corruption. Justified due to their extended exposure to Phazon.
Another possible explanation is that the Space Pirates are not a single species, but a collective of them. This is not confirmed or denied in-game but the other species officially don't show up until Super Metroid and all confirmed to be different until now (Ridley) are not subjected to art shifts.
Samus' suit and ship design also change through each game.
Same thing seems to have happened to the Alimbic in Hunters, though they semi-inexplicably show up in the game's ending so Samus can wave at them. Interestingly, lore indicates that Gorea descended from an ascended state to a physical one just so it could destroy the Alimbic.
Prime: The Super Missile was useful most of the time. The Wavebuster was good for robots and parts of the Ridley fight. The Ice Spreader was effective when the Final Boss was in ice mode and was weak to it. The Flamethrower was almost completely useless until Trilogy's new controls were used.
Echoes: The Sunburst: It becomes available too late to be useful, as you've already acquired the Power Bombs, which do pretty much the same thing with a higher radius of destruction and a faster release.
Most of the Phazon weapons in Corruption aren't very useful compared to the standard hypermode hyper beam. Even the super strong Hyper Missile doesn't home in on enemies unlike other missiles, costs a hell of a lot of Phazon (though this can also work in your favor during corruption), and is relatively slow to fire compared to the rapid fire of the hyper beam. The Hyper Ball is a little bit like the Wavebuster, but it's just not quite strong enough to justify using in most cases. The Hyper Grapple comes too late in the game and is very situationally, but it does have one useful function: on Phaaze, you can use it on Phaz-Ing to deplete your corruption level.
Back from the Brink: The Ing were terrifyingly close to causing Echoes to be over before it even started. Like, two rooms close. One of which was an unguarded elevator.
Backtracking: As the exploration element is as strong as in any 2D Metroid title, the Prime series will make you backtrack to find keys to the final boss (though there are hints provided). In general, this sub-series is the de facto face of this trope as upwards of half of normal gameplay is solely this trope. Corruption lessened the problem by making more than half the keys optional and allowing you to find them through normal play.
Badass: Samus of course, Corruption gives us the Hunters Rundas, Ghor, and Gandrayda.
Bag of Spilling: Justified in Prime and Echoes: in the first game, Samus's power suit is badly damaged while escaping from the Pirate Frigate, deactivating or destroying all of her upgrades. In Echoes, the Ing ambush her and steal a large number of her upgrades, forcing her to track down and kill the Guardians that took them to get them back. Averted and played straight in Corruption, where you start with a number of upgrades, but still have to find new copies of ones you had at the end of Echoesnote Though in that case, it's possible that returning to her Varia Suit at the end of Echoes also disabled all of the Luminoth tech she had acquired, along with other upgrades.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: Done twice in Echoes. You fight two boss-versions of two enemies, called the Alpha Splinter and Alpha Sandigger. However, they get possessed by the Ing a few minutes into the battle, becoming the Dark Alpha Splinter and Bomb Guardian respectively.
Another one from Hunters. During the escape sequence after beating the first Arcterra boss, you run into a Guardian, who just love to ambush you during escapes. However, in just one second after it appears, a hunter, Trace, kills it and proceeds to attack you.
Barrier Change Boss: Both forms of Prime's final boss, and the first form of Gorea from Hunters.
The Quad CM and Ingsmasher from Echoes are a non-boss example. The two use shields that shift between light and dark modes, each being weak to their respective opposites or the Annihilator Beam.
Emperor Ing's final form also switches between being weak to the Light Beam and weak to the Dark Beam.
Bat Scare: Early on in Metroid Prime 2, as soon as Samus walks into the Great Temple for the first time, she is immediately greeted by a swarm of sand bats right to the face. While it does come as a shock at first since the player would be lulled into a false sense of security, the bats do signal where the next Save Point is by flying out of the crack where it's hidden.
Batman Can Breathe in Space: Ridley in Prime. He actually manages to one-up this by flying directly from an orbiting space frigate to Tallon IV note an impossible feat, considering that space has no air molecules to push against in flight, though his "flight" may have been powered by his mechanical parts, with the wing flapping as just muscle memory, surviving re-entry in the process. The Phazon-Metroids in Corruption are also able to survive in space.
Battle in the Rain: It's constantly raining on Talon IV Overworld, so you can have mini-battles in the rain all the time. You have a boss battle in the rain when you face off against Ridley.
Battle Tops: Echoes has the Quad drones as well as the Quadraxis boss battle, which can curl up into spinning top shapes. The former can only be stopped by bashing into them using the Boost Ball, the latter is difficult to stop but can be if you spam beams at its legs.
Noxus fromHunters has his Alt-form, the Vhoscythe. It's a Battle Top that can swing around a massive blade.
Bee People: The Ing. Their base is even called the Ing Hive.
Big Bad: Meta Ridley and Metroid Prime in the first game, Gorea in Hunters, Emperor Ing in Prime 2, and Dark Samus in Prime 3. Note that Meta Ridley and Dark Samus are the only ones to appear in person more than one time (i.e. at any point before the final series of boss battles).
Bigger Bad: Phaaze, the sentient planet which is the source of all Phazon.
Blackout Basement: Removing some power sources or upgrades releases captured Metroids and shuts off the lights. The Space Pirate Base in Phendrana is an excellent example from Prime.
The atmosphere turns dim when you fight Chozo Ghosts. The first time, it is terrifying.
Blocking Stops All Damage: The Emperor Ing from Metroid Prime 2 has two impenetrable defenses, though they are not without drawbacks that keep him from being beatable.
Body Horror: Phazon and the Ing, particularly in logs of victims. The already horrific Metroid Prime also suffers this when Samus overloads it with Phazon, causing it to multiply out of control until it's some blob thing, which then explodes.
There is also the Space Pirate Log on their attempts to reverse engineer Samus' morph ball, which goes horribly wrong.
Samus herself suffers from this in Corruption. By the end one of her eyes is completely black, the other one is fully glowing blue, and a Phazon vein can be seen in the middle of her face.
Bonus Feature Failure: Trilogy kept the friend voucher system from Corruption... but made it so that you could only trade with friends who had Trilogy. With it being a limited-edition release, you can imagine what a bad idea this was.
As of June 2013, the servers for this feature have been shut down. Meaning that if you haven't received 15 vouchers in Corruption and Trilogy by now, you never will.
Book Ends: The series of lore entries you find scattered across Elysia. Chronologically, the last entry ("Defeat") ends with the same two sentences that the first one ("Creators") started with:
Pay close attention. The music playing when Samus fights Rundas is a remix of Phendrana Drifts music.
The boss theme for Final Form Dark Samus in Echoes is a remix of the escape theme from the original Metroid.
The boss themes for Amorbis in Echoes and the Arctic and Fire Spawn were remixed from the Parasite Queen's theme. On that note, the Parasite Queen's theme bears strong similarities to Mother Brain's theme in Super Metroid.
The Chykka Larva theme from Echoes was remixed for the fight with Gandrayda in Corruption.
Quadraxis' theme is a remixed Ing battle theme, and the Metroid Prime theme (second phase) is the remixed title screen music.
When Metroid Prime's second form first appears a dark remix of the original Metroid theme plays.
Super Missiles, compared to the other charge combos. It is also required to beat the games (as it is used to blow up locks), the other beam combos are not.
The whole Power Beam becomes this in Echoes due to the other beams' limited ammo.
Bottomless Pits: Avoided for most of the games except for Hunters where falling into a bottomless pit was instant death.
Bowdlerize: The version of Corruption in Metroid Prime Trilogy removes a single usage of "Damn!," for no readily apparent reason. After all, it's already a T-rated franchise, and there are other instances of "damned" and "hell" in the games.
When Dark Samus knocks out Samus and her 3 allies, she remains in a coma for 3 months and her Varia Suit had to be altered for Samus to use Hyper-Mode. In Metroid: Fusion, Samus loses consciousness after being infected by an X-Parasite. Both suit alterations occur when she is unconscious and must have surgery that alters her suit. The next gamehowever...
Cast from Hit Points: Hypermode in Corruption, which uses one energy tank for a limited amount of powerful Phazon-based attacks. Ending it early can let you keep some of the energy.
Charged Attack: Phazon Beam in Echoes is a Type 1 example. The other beams weapon in the series are Type 2 examples.
Check Point Starvation: The Phazon Mines. There's a save station, near the entrance. Better use it, 'cuz it's the last one you'll see for a long time. Getting to the next one requires you to run a gauntlet of shadow troops, mega turrets, wave and ice troopers, and two mini boss battles against an elite pirate and a cloaked drone.
The drone battle is especially cruel, as it ambushes you right outside the next save station, which is blocked by debris. The only way to clear away the rubble, is with a power bomb: earned by beating the drone then navigating an electric mini maze.
In all, it'll take you about half an hour or more of nonstop fighting and puzzle solving to get from that first save station to the next one. And if you die, at any point along the way, you get to do it all over again.
In the submerged part of Torvus Bog, you have to open three locks to gain access to the lowest levels, where the Gravity Boost (and the Alpha Blogg) is. Opening the last lock makes it impossible to get to the save station without the Gravity Boost...and the Alpha Blogg is right between the Gravity Boost and the save station.
Chekhov's Gun: In Echoes there is an active portal in the Hall of Honored Dead. You can't reach it, and scans say it is unstable anyway. After the showdown in the Sky Temple Gateway (the Dark Aether version of this), a wall of Phazon collapses revealing the still active portal. This is the portal that Samus then uses to escape.
In the first game, early on, you can scan lore in the Artifact Temple that discusses Chozo statuary, ending in the line: Those who destroy them will feel our wrath. Much later, Ridley finds out what that involves.
Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: In Prime, there are the Beam Troopers note in Power, Wave, Ice, and Plasma flavors, to match your beam weapons, the Fission Metroids, and Metroid Prime. Their current color is the color of the only weapon type that can harm them.
The doors are colored based on what is needed to open them.
In Echoes and Corruption, scanned items are like this - red or blue depending on importance, and then green once scanned.
Continuity Nod: The remixed music found throughout the Prime games. Tallon Overworld's first theme is a remix of the first Metroid's Brinstar, Tallon Overworld's second theme is a remix of Green Brinstar, Magmoor Caverns is a remix of Lower Norfair, Hydrodynamo Station is a remix of Red Brinstar/Maridia, Berserker Lord Battle is Arachnos Battle, Pirate Homeworld is Crateria, and the Multiplayer is Green Brinstar. Not to mention several of the usual Leitmotifs.
A particularly hilarious Continuity Nod is in two of the GF Troopers' Logs. The first one complains about another Trooper raving on about how Samus destroyed an entire planet of Space Pirates, claiming it to be lies. You can later read the log of the Trooper who was praising Samus' feats, saying Samus would be in the thick of the fight.
Convection Schmonvection: Averted. Without the Varia suit Samus will take damage from simply entering an area that has lava. This only applies to Prime, as Samus keeps the Varia Suit throughout the rest of the trilogy.
Critical Annoyance: Dua-dua-dua-dua-dua-dua. Few things are better motivation to search for energy. The Prime games up the annoyance factor a notch by adding a large, orange "Energy Low" warning to Samus' HUD in conjunction with the alarm.
Cut-and-Paste Environments: Most of the Dark World areas of Echoes are pretty transparently Palette Swaps of their light world counterparts, occasionally with a platform or two added or removed, though admittedly since it's an alternate dimension, this makes narrative sense. Many corridors in Prime's Chozo Ruins also look alike.
Cutscene Power to the Max: Flavortext power, in this case. The scan visor would have you believe that Hunter Ing are tremendously elite badasses. It's fairly rare for a fight with one to not end in its suicide-by-beacon, with this often occurring before it can actually do anything. They do take a long while to defeat conventionally if you do that for some reason though.
GAME: A basic Space Pirate takes two Charge Beam blasts to kill.
CUTSCENE: 1 to 3 regular Power Beam shots kills a Space Pirate.
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: For the most part averted, as most characters get along just fine with their cybernetically-enhanced Powered Armor... and then there's Ghor. While a cyborg Gentle Giant most of the time, when he "cybernetically fuses," he becomes cold, unfeeling, and aggressive. He only has 6% of his original body to begin with, but if that amount goes down farther, he gets nasty quick.
Damage-Sponge Boss: Gandrayda in Corruption can take an utterly absurd amount of punishment. Making things worse, your shots in Hypermode aren't significantly more damaging than normal shots, and she regenerates her health during the last third of the fight. Fortunately her health regeneration is quite slow and her attacks generally aren't too damaging, making the fight more annoying than super hard.
Damn You, Muscle Memory: Many people dislike the control scheme in Prime and Echoes because the other analog stick is not used to aim, like in Halo or many other FPS's.
Nintendo compensated for this in the Wii-versions of Prime and Echoes, by implementing the same control scheme as the one used in Corruption. In effect, this made some bosses (Flagraah, Meta Ridley and Metroid Prime) significantly easier. On the other hand, the Elite Pirates and Beam Pirates (Power, Wave, Ice and Plasma) were made harder, depending on how much the crosshairs move when rapidly firing.
The turrets in Prime. The ability to aim in any direction within Samus' field of vision allowed players to take advantage of the Missiles' homing capabilities... by standing behind a corner and taking them out from a safe area or blocking their line of fire with a solid iron-beam and firing missiles around it.
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Hypermode in Corruption will suck your life energy dry and turn you into a walking Phazon zombie if you stay in it too long, but using it makes you invincible and ramps up your beam cannon to ridiculous levels. Subverted, though; you'll be triggering this a lot over the course of the game, even though it is risky.
Demoted to Extra: The role of the Metroids are extremely downplayed in Echoes, to the point of being merely cameo enemies. The Space Pirates also play a much smaller role in the story than they did in the first prime, possibly to give focus to the threat of the Ing and Dark Samus. Ridley, their leader and Samus' Arch-Nemesis, is not only completely absent from Prime 2, he doesn't even get an offhand mention.
Detachable Lower Half: Weavel can do this in Hunters, with his lower body functioning as a turret. This also happens with the Quads in Echoes, although they prefer to fight with their heads attached to their bodies.
Contrary to what its name implies, Dark Samus is most vulnerable to the Dark Beam, because technically, it is a creature native to the Light World.
In Prime, throwing on the X-Ray Visor will make Samus's right hand visible. In addition, the hand will make a different gesture depending on which beam is active.
In Prime 2, should you run out of ammo for any of your beams, to prevent you from getting stuck behind a door that requires a particular beam, you can charge it to fire a normal shot. While impractical for combat, it makes traveling much less annoying than it could otherwise be.
Disc One Final Dungeon: Pirate Homeworld in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Hyped a lot for being the native planet of the Space Pirates, the Galactic Federation preparing a full-scale assault on them, and housing the final Leviathan Seed which is guarded by Omega Ridley. But after all of that, Samus still has to find her Evil Counterpart, Dark Samus, who is revealed to not be there.
Disney Death/Joker Immunity: Happens to Ridley in Prime. He's pushed off a cliff by lasers, hits the ground, and explodes. He comes back in Corruption, however.
Doom Magnet: It seems Samus cannot escape the cold hand of destruction, whether it be a large base or the entire planet. Her "kill count" in the Prime games includes the Orpheon in Prime, the Oubliette in Hunters, Dark Aether in Echoes, and Phaaze in Corruption.
Down the Drain: The Crashed Frigate, the Reactor Area in Torvus Bog, a Scrappy Level for some. There are no submerged areas in Corruption.
The Dreaded: Samus...to the Space Pirates. Many of their logs allude to the fact that "The Hunter" has arrived and everything else goes on the backburner until that situation is dealt with. In the second game, when they discover that Dark Samus is running around, their logs essentially devolve to "Oh god, there's two of them!"
Prime also had voiceovers that were supposed to introduce each area by name; all are still on the disc, but the scripting is broken. The only trigger that actually works is transitioning from Tallon Overworld to Impact Crater or vice versa. Additionally, an introduction to Samus and what she has done was voiced over in Prime - not the one that ended up in the game by the narrator, but Jennifer Hale herself!
Samus' ship in Corruption was going to have many more times when it could be used to help fight enemies, move objects and otherwise interact with the plot (which is why there are a relatively large number of Ship Missile upgrades), but most were left out and removed in the final game, leaving the ship with a lot of weapons and few places to use them.
Dying as Yourself: Scans of deceased Luminoth in Echoes reveal that, in the event of Ing possession, they'd rather kill themselves than be used as weapons against their own people.
Dynamic Loading: Annoying in Hunters because once you shoot a door, you must wait for the room on the other side to finish loading before it opens. During timed missions, the timer keeps ticking while the door loads.
Easter Egg: When you leave the GF ship on Bryyo's first mission in Corruption, you can faintly see Rundas watching you. If you shoot him with a charge beam, he'll fly away.
In the same game, inputting certain combinations into Samus's communicator will net you messages from Nintendo.
On the Space Pirate Homeworld, there is a Dark Tallon Metroid, albeit one sliced into pieces to the point that it's near unrecognizable.
In Prime 3, there is a single scan that refers to 'Project Dread', the name of a long awaited 2D Metroid game Nintendo had mentioned to be in development. Fans were displeased to find that this was only a joke.
Elaborate Underground Base: Most of Phazon Mines is underground, and serves as the Space Pirates' main base on Tallon IV. A vast portion of the base on Pirate Homeworld is underground.
Prime: The hand from Samus' Phazon Suit (absorbed by the eponymous villain) pops out of a puddle of phazon with an eye on the back.
Echoes: The scene cuts to outer space, where a billion tiny bits of phazon converge on one-another to reform into Dark Samus.
Corruption: Samus rides off into space, only for the Delano 7, Sylux's ship from Hunters to follow her. This one has yet to be answered.
Enemy Scan: Extended to everything else as well, courtesy of the Scan Visor. Make sure to scan first and shoot later if you want 100% Completion, since some scans (notably boss ones) can be Lost Forever.
Escort Mission: Two of them in Corruption, one of which involves Samus needing to escort a number of Galactic Federation bombers to a large door at the end of a series of Space Pirate-infested rooms. However, you are also assisted by a large number of GF troopers, who actually heavily outnumber the Space Pirates to the point that, while the Space Pirates are stronger on average, the GF troopers can outnumber them to the point that they can kill a few Space Pirates for you, or at least weaken them enough for you to deliver the final blow. Even against the Berserker Knight, the troopers can assist you in killing the massive beast. A gold medal can be earned by keeping all troopers alive, which can be quite a challenge if you don't stay ahead of them or mess up against the trio of Commando Pirates at the end.
Eternal Engine: Upper Phazon Mines in the first game, Vesper Defense Outpost in Hunters, Sanctuary Fortress in Echoes, and the Pirate Homeworld in Corruption. Bits and pieces of other mainlands are mechanical too.
Evil Versus Evil: Echoes has scans that reveal the Space Pirates are having a hell of a time dealing with random Ing raids and Dark Samus.
Evolving Credits: InTrilogy, the main menu is set inside Samus' Arm Cannon. When you load a save file, the camera zooms out and Samus turns and shoots said cannon. The suit she wears while doing this is the same suit she's currently wearing in the save file you're loading. In Corruption, it even displays the changes in her PED Suit as it gets more and more corrupted.
Expy: Several enemies get retooled for each game, and the weapons tend to get this. Ice Beam becomes the Dark Beam, Plasma Beam gets Nerfed into the Light Beam, and Wave Beam gets buffed up into the Annihilator Beam.
Thardus is basically the Metroid universe's answer to Gorignak.
Eye Open: After saving, there's a brief closeup of Samus opening her eyes.
Also how Prime ominously ends.
Failed a Spot Check: In Prime, a pirate log notes that Samus' gunship is invisible to their scanners and they're reduced to searching the old-fashioned way and hoping they get lucky. Fair enough, except said gunship is parked in the open, plainly visible as orange on a field of green, two rooms and less than a kilometer away from the crashed Pirate frigate.
Feed It a Bomb: Some enemies can only be killed by feeding them Morph Ball Bombs. A hilarious example is the Triclops/Mechlops, who actually tries to eat the bombs.
Final Boss: Metroid Prime in the first game, Gorea in Hunters, Emperor Ing, followed by Dark Samus in the second, and Aurora Unit 313 in the third.
Final Exam Boss: The Metroid Prime itself's first phase. Also, Gandrayda assumes the forms of several bosses you've fought before, but is fought only about two thirds of the way through Corruption.
Especially in the NA version of Prime. Some Pirate Lores in the game tell you just what armaments Metroid Prime has, and even allude to its weakness.
Also every area has its own major boss that you fight before you go onto the next area, such as Chykka, Thardus, or Helios, that always require you to use the abilities you have found in that area, not always all the abilities you found but at least one of them, examples are that Thardus requires the Thermal Visor, Chykka requires the grapple beam, and Helios requires the seeker missiles etc.
In the EU Version of Prime, it is actually stated on some occasion EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO KILL THE BOSS! For Flagraah, the Scan entry says that "removing its source of solar energy will kill it" while the Elite Pirates and Phazon Elites (and the Omega Pirate) have a line of scan text saying "shooting the Phazon bubbles on the legs and shoulders will inflict heavy damage to the pirate". Thardus is a bit less tricky, as you have to remember what you can read on 2 different scan-notes in the Phendrana Drifts, one stating that "Phazon is highly visible through any means of heat-vision" and another one stating that "Thardus has Phazon infused into the rocks. Exposing the Phazon and blasting it might inflict severe damage."
Gorea in Hunters forces you to remember which color represents which weakness (much like the Metroid Prime and Emperor Ing did) and also to remember obscure lore you found throughout the game to know in which order to shoot crests on the walls with the proper weapon in order to get to the final phase of the battle and the game's true ending.
Likewise, each of the three hunters allied with Samus in Corruption has a weapon that fits the trio. After you've killed all of them and taken those weapons, Samus herself has a version similar to the first game, but split among her three primary attack methods: her beam has fire, her missiles have ice, and her grapple lasso has lightning.
Fling a Light into the Future: Samus was this for the Chozo, as were the countless power-ups they set up across the galaxy for her to find when she would need them.
In Corruption, the wall murals tell the story of the last of the Bryyonian Lords of Science. After pretty much the entirety of his species had regressed to a primitive, violently tribal state, he found an apprentice to teach both the high technology and the ancient magics of their people, then pulled an Heroic Sacrifice when they were found in the hopes that she would be able to one day restore their culture.
Similarly on Elysia, after Ghor succumbed to Phazon corruption and started infecting the robotic Elysians with a virus, one of the last left records of their culture for others to find.
Foreshadowing: In Prime 2, the Pirates witness a battle between Samus and Dark Samus, and wonder if they can work out some sort of arrangement with Dark Samus to kill their common enemy. Prime 3 involves Dark Samus joining forces with the Space Pirates, though not quite in the way they had envisioned.
You can find a Chozo Lore entry in the first game that essentially says "If you destroy our relics, you will know our wrath. When you finally fight Meta Ridley in the Artifact Temple, his attacks start destroying several statues. And when you beat him, the temple's security system activates and vaporizes Ridley. It's a very literal example of Laser-Guided Karma.
For Science!: While the Space Pirates ultimately want to be the dominant force in the galaxy, this is largely how they go about their business.
For the Evulz: And this is how they go about it the rest of the time.
Four Philosophy Ensemble in Corruption: Samus (the Conflicted, sometimes the Realist), Ghor (the Cynic, sometimes Conflicted), Gandrayda (the Optimist), and Rundas (the Apathetic and pragmatist).
Four-Temperament Ensemble in Corruption: Rundas (choleric), Ghor (melancholic), Gandrayda (sanguine), and Samus (leukine/phlegmatic).
In the first game, the first of twelve artifacts can be found at the Artifact Temple you need to bring them all to in the first place.
Echoes takes it further, as one of the ten keys needed to access the final area is already in its lock thanks to the efforts of a long-deceased Luminoth warrior, so Samus only needs to find nine. And one of those nine keys lies close to its required destination, needing little effort to find it; namely, its location is the Dark World version of Samus's landing site.
In Corruption, you're instead hunting Energy Cells to restore power as you go to portions of a derelict space vessel; conveniently, a wrecked fighter is crashed in its docking bay, with its Energy Cell having fallen out for you to grab and use right away.
Hunters downplays this trope. The whereabouts of the first Octolith are found at the start of the game, but like all other Octoliths it's guarded by a boss that must be defeated.
Frickin' Laser Beams: The Imperialist in Hunters. Not only does it shot as a dense laser beam, it also includes a sniper feature for more precise shots.
From a Single Cell: Metroid Prime, and by extension Dark Samus, is absurdly hard to kill, surviving the destruction of an entire planet while being trapped in an alternate dimension at the same time. It seems capable of reforming from even the teensiest bit of Phazon leftovers. This is explicitly stated in-game.
Game-Breaking Bug: In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, you can render the game Unwinnable by triggering the floaty-jump glitch during the fight with Chykka, then using your glitched super-jump to leave the room. When you return, Chykka is gone, and she's taken the Dark Visor with her.
Similarly, the first North American version of Metroid Prime got careless with one of its Chozo Artifacts: you get the Artifact of Warrior by beating the Phazon Elite, but the door doesn't lock to make sure you do so. If you leave, save, and come back, the Elite and Artifact are gone for good, and you need all twelve Artifacts to win.
Metroid Prime also had a rather nasty bug unless you frequently saved your game. Sometimes when approaching a door, the game would just simply freeze and forced you to reset. If you hadn't saved a long time, sucks to be you. Luckily, the freezing bug was quite rare to the point where it wouldn't happen twice in the same play-through.
Game Changer: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: After the game's first mission, Samus is infected with an alien substance called Phazon that allows her to briefly supercharge her abilities but corrupt her if she uses it for too long. It's a game changer for the Prime series as a whole as the previous games had Phazon be a hazard you were trying to destroy.
Genre Blind: The Space Pirates have their infamous 1 meter diameter tubes.
Genre Savvy: One of the Pirate Logs in Research Lab Aether notes that the Metroid transportation protocols also apply to sedated and dead Metroids. Unfortunately for the pirates, this seems as close as they get.
Gimmick Level: Many areas in the series, usually involving the use of the Spider Ball. The Spider Guardian and Power Bomb Guardian in Echoes have you fighting them entirely in Morph Ball form.
Going to Give It More Energy/Life Drain: The Grapple Voltage allows Samus to either suck an enemy's life force out and add it to her own or to sacrifice her energy to overload an enemy with her energy to make them explode.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Phazon corruption in the aptly titled Corruption creates scars and growths on Samus' face whenever she uses a great amount of Phazon to destroy the Leviathan Seeds.
Gravity Barrier: Only possible because the Space Jump no longer gives infinite vertical travel.
Great Offscreen War: The Horus Rebellion, The war that drove the Luminoth into hiding from the Ing is unseen, the war on Bryyo.
Green Rocks: Phazon is to Phaaze as Kryptonite is to Krypton. Only the effect of Phazon is the same regardless of galaxy, whereas Kryptonite is of effect only in the presence of a yellow Sun.
Half the Man He Used to Be: Deliberately self-invoked by Weavel in Hunters, who, whilst still in possession of legs, can seperate himself, his legs forming the Halfturret weapon whilst the rest of him run about on his arms attacking with his machete.
Bryyo Cliffside is part The Hedge of Thorns, part Death Mountain. The rest of Bryyo has a fiery zone (Bryyo Fire), as well as an artic one (Bryyo Ice), making it the most multifaceted planet in the game.
Heroic RROD: Part of the reason the third Prime game is called Corruption.
He Was Right There All Along: Parasite Queen, Hive Mecha, Plated Beetle, Sheegoth, Metroids, Thardus, Phazon Elite, Elite Pirate, Omega Pirate, Metroid Prime, Alpha Splinter, Alpha Sand Digger, Jump Guardian, Dark Missile Trooper, Amorbis, Boost Guardian, Alpha Blogg, Grapple Guardian, Chykka, Spider Guardian, Ingsmasher, Power Bomb Guardian, Quadraxis... It's probably faster to list the ones that don't do it.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Metroid Prime's only fatal weakness is Phazon, the very same substance it continuously generates and ultimately tries to corrupt the galaxy with. If it didn't keep feeding Samus the stuff it'd be literally invinciblenote Scans, at least, note that Prime literally cannot stop producing Phazon, as it is functionally the equivalent of waste to it: it can't keep it in and has to expel it to survive. The same is true of Dark Samus at the end of Echoes, who would explode if she stopped expelling Phazon particles.
Also, in the first Prime at least, the Metroids would latch onto the Space Pirates and and kill them for you. These are the same Metroids that the pirates had bred.
Also, Dark Samus in Corruption, who is only Killed Off for Real because she decided to connect herself to Phaaze, meaning that when she is "killed", Phaaze explodes, destroying all Phazon and ensuring that she stays dead.
Humans Are Special/Humans Are Warriors: Humans (specifically, the human-dominated Federation) are the only recorded species to ever stop a Leviathan impact. The Luminoth shot at theirs with everything they had, and it did sod all. The federation fires a single planetary defence laser and completely vaporizes the one headed for Norion.
I Have Many Names: Metroid Prime itself - it's also named The Worm by the Tallon IV Chozo and Dark Samus/The Dark Hunter once it copies the form of our hero.
The Pirates refer to Samus as "The Hunter", which gets extended in Echoes when they find themselves face-to-face with Dark Samus, whom they title "The Dark Hunter".
Interface Screw: A popular method of attack from enemies is hitting you with electrical attacks to make your visor fill with static for brief moments. An especially notable case is Rezbit, who has a special viral attack that actually causes Samus' suit to malfunction, both disabling her weaponry and causing a special kind of static to make it impossible to see, requiring a special button combination to reboot the entire power suit.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: And you have to look for the pieces to find it. It's possible to go through the entirety of Prime without understanding the plot at all if you don't scan anything. Echoes and Corruption give you progressively more information.
Jump Jet Pack: the Space Jump is enabled by a set of boosters attached to the boots of the power suit. The 2D games in the series tend to have it as something much more substantial.
Jungle Japes: Bryyo Thorn Jungle. A Jungle comprised of giant thorns.
Just Following Orders: Inverted in Echoes: Samus, a bounty hunter, gets orders to the effect of "investigate missing Space Marines" and does everything else under her own steam. It can be imagined that the Galactic Federation enjoys explaining this to her when it comes time to pay her. "Well, good job saving the universe, now here's your paycheck for checking up on our Marines."
Averted in Prime and Corruption, however, as in the first case, Samus was specifically acting on her own (hunting down the Space Pirates) and in the second case, she was hired to deal with the Phazon Leviathans, which is what she spends the entire game doing: finding out how to reach and subsequently destroy the Leviathans on each planet. So she was exactly following orders.
King Mook: The Sub-Guardians in Echoes are essentially a three-way combination between a species native to Aether, the Ing possessing it, and one of Samus's weapons. The Spider Guardian, for example, is an Ing-possessed Pillbug who has been enhanced with magnetic powers and control over the railway systems due to Samus's Spider Ball powerup.
The Last Dance: The final mission of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has heavy hints of this. The Phazon corruption doled out to each of the hunters at the beginning of the game has so far proven to be uniformly fatal. Samus herself is so far gone at this point that her gunship's computer can't identify her anymore, she's forced to vent Phazon every minute just to stay alive, and the final boss fight takes place on a radioactive, sentient planet only reachable by wormhole, at the bottom of a pit deep enough that even if she survives, she has no chance of wall-jumping, screw-attacking or speed-boosting her way back up. At the end of the fight, she just lies on the ground utterly exhausted. The whole thing feels much less like a Final Showdown and more of a Taking You with Me / Heroic Sacrifice on her part, which isn't helped by the exchange between Fleet Admiral Dane and his bridge staff in the ending cutscenes:
Crewman: Damage reports coming in. We've lost 37% of the fleet. Surviving ships are reporting heavy casualties.
FADM Dane: What about Samus?
Crewman: Negative, Sir. No contact...
Being that Prime was a prequel series, of course she manages to survive anyway, but a novice to the series might be forgiven for thinking this was really her swan song.
Norion in the third game is the exception, which you save at the last second. It's also implied that Aether was just minutes away from falling before the Dark Alpha Splinter fight, which would make the tragedy even worse.
Law of Conservation of Detail: All of Samus' explosives have materials they are most effective against: Brinstone for Missiles, Sandstone / Talloric Alloy for bombs, Cordite for Super Missiles (no Super Missile material in Echoes) and Bendezium / Denzium for power bombs. If any of these is mentioned in a scan, you will end up destroying the scanned item with the appropriate explosive. Corruption adds Phazite, which can be pierced by the Nova Beam. If an enemy's scan mentions Phazite, it is vulnerable to a one-hit-kill from the Nova Beam/X-Ray Visor combo. Everything in Echoes is made of Denzium.
Also, note that any of the above mentioned can only be destroyed by their specific weapon. Sandstone cannot be destroyed by a Power Bomb, despite the Power Bombs being several times more powerful.
This is explained in Other M. The Missiles cause a concussive blast. Bombs let out an electrical/electromagnetic pulse. Power Bombs let out immense heat.
In Prime, every destructible object's scan data also notes its already compromised (age, stress fractures, shoddy craftsmanship ect.). Presumably this weakens it enough to be vulnerable to the right part of your arsenal and is enough of an aberration to grab the Scan Visor's attention, while the intact bits around it are still solid enough to not fall apart in one shot.
This is seen in the game's physical layout. Any platform you can stand on is typically necessary to get somewhere, any Morph Ball tunnel or Spider Ball track is guaranteed to lead somewhere interesting, almost every room has at least one item hidden inside it or has a small, hidden tunnel that leads to a small room with a hidden item... etc.
Lead The Target: The Alpha Splinter is actually more difficult before he gets possessed by the Ing, due to employing this tactic. It makes dodging his lunges tricky unless you get more creative in your dodging.
Ledge Bats: Fission Metroids in Prime, Rezbits in Echoes.
Left Hanging: Getting 100% of items in Corruption unlocks a short scene after the credits where a mysterious ship not seen anywhere else in the game uncloaks and follows Samus' gunship to wherever she's going. There hasn't been a new Prime game made since, and Other M did not elaborate further. Speculation abounds that this is either a sign that Dark Samus has once again survived, or that it's Sylux's ship.
Lethal Lava Land: Magmoor mostly, and Alinos in Hunters also has elements of this.. "Bryyo Fire" from Corruption is an interesting case; it does have a "fiery" theme and appropriate colors, but the oozy stuff throughout the level is not lava, but a highly volatile chemical called "fuel gel" that is both corrosive and flammable. It still "behaves" like lava does in most games, though.
Level-Map Display: You can acquire the map, or explore everywhere to get the whole map layout.
Load-Bearing Boss: Prime deals you one right away with the Parasite Queen, and even justifies it. She falls into the frigate reactor when you kill her, with predictable results. The end bosses in the trilogy all apply to varying extents: Metroid Prime presumably causes the Impact Crater to cave in, Emperor Ing is physically bearing the load for an entire planet, and Dark Samus's Final Death causes Phaaze to start disintegrating.
Loads and Loads of Loading: The games are infamous for this. Shooting at doors triggers the games to first load what's on the other side, then open them. This can sometimes take a while, most notably in Corruption, which did away with the load-hiding corridors found in the first two.note The corridors were small and low-detail, meaning the Gamecube had more power for the subsequent room.
Lost Forever: All games have some of this. Didn't scan that boss before you killed it, or scan something in an early area before passing the point of no return? Say goodbye to 100% Completion! Lessened in Trilogy, where the Log Book is carried over to a New Game+, allowing you to focus exclusively on the missed entries.
Didn't trade in your Friend Vouchers in Corruption or Trilogy for Friend Credits before June 28, 2013? You're outta luck. Now the only way to unlock bonuses requiring Friend Credits is to download 100% save files from the internet onto your SD card.
Lowered Monster Difficulty: The eponymous creatures are the scourge of the universe in Metroid and Super Metroid, needing to be frozen and pelted with missiles to kill. Through the Prime series, they become progressively less of an actual threat. In Prime, a Power Bomb will kill any Metroid instantly (yes, even that kind), and after being frozen even Hunter Metroids shatter in one hit. In Echoes, they can be beaten with enough firepower from any of your weapons and even Dark Metroids can be frozen with the Dark Beam, and in Corruption, you eventually get the ability to kill them in one shot. Until then, though.... In addition, no Metroid in the Prime series has ever got beyond "Hunter", which does rather knock down their status as threats. Justified in that Metroids will grow and adapt differently depending on what planet they're on, and all of the experiments with Phazon have done really odd things to their physiology, leaving the non-SR 388 strains in the Prime trilogy with less defense against non-cold weaponry.
Made of Explodium: Lampshaded; one destructible material is called "cordite"note A type of smokeless powder the British Navy used. Also the Sap Sacs; a scan notes that they developed their explosive nature because they were almost eaten to extinction; a little odd, since fruit typically spreads seeds by being eaten.
Make Way For The New Villains: You get your first taste of how powerful the Ing and Dark Samus are when you reach the Space Pirate outpost, and read their logs about how they are getting annihilated by them.
Malevolent Architecture: Samus finds this everywhere. Also happens to Ridley near the end of the first Prime game. Remember the Chozo Lore about their statues? They weren't kidding when they said to treat them with respect. And the Chozo Lore that tells you about this is located in the Artifact Temple, where the battle takes place.
Mercy Kill: In the Echoes manga, a surviving Federation gunman considers this as such when Samus defeats some of the other platoon members possessed by Ing.
Matrix Raining Code: While you spent most of the area indoors, if you looked closely while standing outside in Sanctuary in Echoes, you would notice that it's raining. Look even closer, and you'll see its Matrix Raining Code, raining skyward.
Metroidvania: Despite the games being three-dimensional, they still remain true to this genre due to how the areas are explored.
Mini-Dungeon: Metroid Prime 1 and 3 have, respectively, the sunken Orpheon Frigate and the wrecked GFS Valhalla as relatively large and intrincate mini-dungeons, which respectively precede the Phazon Mines and Pirate Homeworld as huge, gargantuam dungeons.
Mirror Match: The Echoes multiplayer mode. Hunters can do it too, with multiples of a character having alternate color schemes. The Hunters: First Hunt demo's Regulator mode ended with one of these.
Nintendo Hard: Echoes is much harder than Prime or Corruption. Enemies are tough, come in swarms, do insane amounts of damage, and that's before you get into a Dark World that drains your health constantly and teems with even tougher enemies.
Non-Standard Game Over: What occurs in Corruption if you overdo it on the Hypermode. Also, failing the escort mission on the Pirate Homeworld.
No OSHA Compliance: All over the place, but Elysia is the worst offender. Somewhat ironic, because they seem to be one of the 2 most likely to HAVE an OSHA equivalent, the other being the GF, but Samus seems to be a trouble magnet for their ships.
Noodle Incident: The Horus Rebellion in Corruption. The only known details about it are that it was the only known time that a large amount of Stiletto-Class Fighters were scrambled aside from the attack on Norion at the beginning of the game, and that it was heavily implied to have resulted in a lot of casualties on the Galactic Federation's end.
Hunters, takes place in another galaxy, implies technology that is millennia ahead of anything we've seen in the rest of the series, features new characters that are never seen or mentioned again, is the only game in the entire series not to feature any Metroids whatsoever, has an online multiplayer mode that is significantly deeper than the single-player campaign, and just generally doesn't even follow the Metroid formula.
Pinball, which is (as of this writing) the page image for this trope.
Oh, Crap: The Pirate Logs tend to become this when they start talking about Samus; especially in the second game when they realize Samus and Dark Samus are two different beings. "Surely, we are cursed."
Ominous Latin Chanting: The title/menus themes in the first two Prime titles, Magmoornote a remix of Super Metroid's Lower Norfair, and too many to count in Corruption...
One-Hit Kill: In Corruption, the X-Ray Visor coupled with the Nova Beam grants one the ability to shoot straight through Phazite-armor on enemies and hit their internal organs. In Prime, the Plasma Beam could incinerate nearly any enemy with a single charged shot.
Samus' arm cannon configurations are also texture swaps of each other across the games (example: the Dark Beam in Prime 2 is the same model as the Ice Beam model in Prime 1), which was probably done to save on space, memory, and programming effort.
Persecuted Intellectuals: In Corruption, the planet Bryyo's backstory involves a war between the intellectual Lords of Science and the traditional Primals, which eventually ended with the Primals hunting down and killing any of intellectuals that remained after the war.
Phlebotinum Muncher: The eponymous beastie of Prime, and its reincarnation as Dark Samus in Echoes and Corruption.
Phlebotinum Overload: A very, very important trope used in the series. Too much Phazon is dangerous even to the corrupted, and is key to defeating the Final Boss of the first, second, and many bosses in the third.
Phlebotinum Overdose: In Corruption, spending too much time in Hypermode causes Samus to go into Corrupt Hypermode, and the energy bar for it fills rapidly. The only way to get out is to dump all of the energy or prevent the bar from filling for half a minute. Fail, and Samus turns into another Dark Samus. Ironically, this trope is also how the original Dark Samus is destroyed each time. Scan data frequently refers to her being made "unstable" due to Phazon overdosing. Note, that's "destroyed" not "killed". Also, this is forced onto the player in the end of Corruption, when Samus goes to Phaaze. Samus is practically immortal, as long as one doesn't let the Phazon regenerate too fast.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The pirates do undertake some pillaging and rampaging, but it usually ends up with them setting up shop on the planet they plundered and using it to conduct biological and weapons research. Their main goal is to gain ground and resources to expand their research rather than simply take from their victims.
Pivotal Boss: Amorbis fights like this, as well as the Parasite Queen, the Incinerator Drone, Flaahgra and Emperor Ing's initial form.
Ice-themed people, of which we have seen two: Noxus (from planet Vho) and Rundas (from planet Phrygis). Noxus is fairly low-key, but Rundas definitely fits. Samus herself is also an example: modern Chozo are/were a peaceful people, but had a strong warrior tradition in the past.
The Luminoth have shades of this themselves. Due to the Ing, though, they had to be.
There's so many in the late stages of Echoes (Spider Guardian, Power Bomb Guardian) that it becomes a relief when you fight Dark Samus for the second time: there's no tricks about it, just a good old fashioned shoot out.
This even extends to a substantial portion of Echoes' (and to a lesser extent, Prime's) enemies. Your weapons can take down most enemies when you first encounter them, by dint of skillful playing. Then you get a weapon or item that can let you one-shot them—such as the classic freeze-and-shatter, or the Plasma Beam's tendency to incinerate enemies with one charged shot. The killer insane suit-hacking, laser-shooting Rezbits could get a freeze-and-shatter from the Dark Beam—if you're quick enough, you can prevent their impenetrable shield from coming up. Likewise, the game's giant bruisers can be taken down with a Power Bomb dropped near them.
Prime had the escape sequence in the beginning, where you have 7 minutes to escape from a falling frigate that's plummetting towards the ground.
In Echoes, we had the very last battle against Dark Samus: A fair fight in a different dimension that is on the verge of collapsing. The fight cannot take more than 8 minutes. And that's including travel time from the previous boss.
In Corruption, by the time all the reactors on Norion have been activated, a meteor is about to crash into the planet. If the player hangs around for too long instead of hurrying to the ground-based Satellite Cannon, the meteor will kill everything on the planet. And this is the only Metroid game to NOT have a timer visually show you how long time you have left before you die. However, the nice announcer system lady who voices the klaxon horn alarm speech will say "X minutes until impact".
The battle against Ridley in the beginning is this as well. You're both falling 18,000 meters at a pace saying 100 meters a second. That means you have 3 minutes to shoot the ever-loving crap out of Ridley or fall to a painful death alongside him.
Elysia has the escape pod on the Theronian Bomb; You had to repair something to escape from the bomb before it was dropped onto the planet's Leviathan with you on it. Then there was Phaaze, where, given the circumstances, your health acted as a timer that you could add to.
Rainbow Speak: In scans to point out what something is made of, so you know what to use to blow it up.
Real Time Weapon Change: In the first two games, where you choose one by flicking the right analog stick (or d-pad). This was dropped in the third game in favor of an upgrading beam system similar to the 2D games, where each new beam you get has the properties of its predecessors.
Aside from the other hunters and Gorea, there are only two bosses in Hunters that are fought again and again. They change attack patterns, but the way you beat them is usually the same.
Dark Samus in Echoes.
Metroid Hatcher in Corruption.
Red and Black and Evil All Over: Samus' ultimate suit in the first game, the Phazon Suit, is colored red, black and grey, in stark contrast to her usual orange/purple Varia/Gravity Suit. Both Dark Is Evil as its counterpart apply, as Samus is obviously good, but the Phazon her suit is corrupted by is evil in nature.
In the first game, some bonus, some not: Samus' suit has additional dialog, and there are larger missile pickups and some interface and gameplay tweaks, one of which is a slower map loader that prevents crashes suffered by the original North American version. On the other hand, the previously easy Security Drone enemies are upgraded to full-on Goddamned Bats with tripled energy, and the plot is somewhat mutilated due to fears that the series would be poorly recieved; the PAL version removes references to Samus' previous life with the Chozo, along with references to the Space Pirates finding Metroid Prime's and its stealing their tech. Later games don't have much in the way of bonuses.
Many sequence breaks are removed in the PAL version, though not as many as in the ironically-titled North American Player's Choice version. Scandashing is impossible, a lot of areas have Bendezium rubble that can only be removed with Power Bombs added, the Player's Choice version even goes so far as to add locked doors that only go away when you've picked up things you're supposed to have, though it doesn't include any of the actual Regional Bonus content. Apparently Retro really, really want you to play the game "properly". Echoes had a few similar changes made for the EU release which just require different speedrunning tricks, and one in the Japanese version that stops a no boost ball speedrun cold in the room "Crypt" in Dark Torvus.
In Prime, Meta Ridley also has more attacks and isn't as easily beaten (oversights in the NTSC were sorted out), making it pretty hard (though it's hard anyway). Flaahgra's boss theme looped incorrectly in the original NTSC version as well, playing only the first part over and over, which is rectified in the PAL version.
Most, but not all, of these changes were included in Metroid Prime: Trilogy.
Replay Mode: Hunters has an option to replay the cutscenes of the main bosses (Cretaphid, Slench and Gorea) encountered, as well as the game's opening scene and the ending.
Riding the Bomb: Justified. When the SkyTown pod carrying the Theronian Bomb is deployed, the Space Pirates launched a counterattack to protect the Leviathan. Samus had to stay with the pod to fend off the Pirates, or else the pod and the bomb would be destroyed, along with the only chance to save Elysia.
Rule of Cool: Samus should not be able to arc weld delicate circuitry with her plasma beam, but it is awesome.
Rule of Three: The games frequently invoke the rule of three, with three Temples in Echoes (and each of them requiring 3 Keys for full access), 3 Phazon-infested planets in Corruption, and the 3 alternate beams and 3 alternate visors in each game. Also, in the second game, Dark Samus is fought a total of three times. In Hunters, each of the eight portals leading to the Octoliths has to be activated by retrieving three Alimbic Artifacts.
Inverted in Corruption. The planet Norion is doomed from the start from a looming Phazon Leviathan impact, but Samus manages to save it at the last minute. Later on it's revealed that the other planets in the system suffered a Phazon Leviathan impact while she was in a coma and are already showing signs of corruption, so Samus goes to those planets to stem it.
Played straight if the planets in the earlier titles, Tallon IV in Prime and Aether in Echoes would be any indication regarding the fate of the Phazon-corrupted planets in Corruption. The difference being that Samus already saved those planets and they're on their way to recovering so she knows she could save the others.
Sad Battle Music: Corruption has sad but intense music during the battle against Rundas, and another against Gandrayda.
Also, the Pirate Logs from Corruption. At first, they're scared shitless of Dark Samus. Then they suddenly become her "first disciples." And it only goes downhillfrom there.
Save Game Limits: Sometimes you have to walk abusive distances (with boss fights in-between!) from one save room to another.
Save Point: Much like the main series, the second type of save point is a common sight. However, unlike the main series, every save point in the Prime games refills health. Samus' gunship continues to act as a save point on its own, and Corruption's ability to remotely fly the ship to various locations adds a useful portable save system to that game, although it's limited to designated landing zones.
Scenery Gorn: Crashed Frigate and Impact Crater in Prime, any of the Dark Aether environments in Echoes, and the GFS Valhalla in Corruption is probably the most destitute locale you pay a visit to.
Scenery Porn: Phendrana Drifts in Prime, Sanctuary Fortress in Echoes, and Bryyo and Skytown Elysia in Corruption are all exceptionally beautiful. Though for Skytown, just try not to accidentally fall off an edge while staring at the scenery. Sanctuary Fortress is less dangerous on the "falling to your doom" end. For that matter, the entire trilogy triggers this as well as Scenery Gorn.
Schematized Prop: Many of the later games have taken up this trope, most notably using a Power Suit schematic as the item/weapon status screen (Zero Mission, Prime, Corruption, Super, Fusion; the schematized suit was also seen in the instruction manual for Metroid II). Other examples include the model of the FS-176 solar system in Metroid Prime (who knew Zebes and Tallon IV were in the same star system?) and the detailed descriptions of items, ships and upgrades throughout the Prime games.
Metroid Prime: Hunters provides some very interesting numbers on the weapons of the Metroid universe. The Volt Driver apparently has enough juice to power countries, the Judicator approaches Absolute Zero, the Battlehammer contains a nuclear reactor, and the Magmaul utilizes hydrogen the same way stars do. If that isn't enough, the Annihilator Beam from Echoes combines matter and antimatter (annihilation surpasses nuclear reactions in output), the Dark/Sunbursts are a portal to hell and miniature star, respectively, and the Sonic Boom's description says it breaks reality. At this rate, it'll be able to compete with 40K in over-the-top weaponry.
Additionally, Hunters stated to take place in another galaxy. Not only does this imply that the Galactic Federation in general and Samus' gunship in particular has technology that allows it to span the intergalactic void in trivial amounts of time, it also causes issues when recurring enemies (like Zoomers, War Wasps and Blastcaps) appear. Blastcaps are even stated to have spread from Tallon IV using space spores. Assuming spores that don't travel faster than the speed of light, the time this would take is far greater than the age of the universe - and that's not even counting the time it would take them to have evolved on Tallon IV in the first place.
Scoring Points: Present in Hunters: First Hunt, unlike every other non-pinball Metroid game, including the final version of Hunters. The points for each hit increased as you continued to hit enemies without missing, encouraging careful aim.
Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The covers for Hunters and Trilogy; the picture at the top of the page comes from Hunters. In Trilogy you spend the menu screen inside Samus' arm cannon.
Secret A.I. Moves: In her boss fight, Gandrayda shapeshifts into Samus once her health is down to a third. She proceeds to use a suped-up version of the Boost Ball, an energy blast not unlike Dark Samus's barrier move and finally a Wave Motion Gun that sweeps over the arena. You never gain access to anything resembling the latter two attacks.
Self-Imposed Challenge: The games allow the HUD to be turned of leading some to play the game without it and therefore unable to see either their health, ammo, radar etc.
Sequel Difficulty Drop: Corruption was mistaken for this at first, being derided for being much easier than the first two games. It then turned out that this is because Corruption had three difficulty levels compared to the two difficulty levels of the first two games, with the new difficulty being an easier mode. The other two difficulty levels roughly map to the original two difficulty levels, despite the name changes. The Trilogy rerelease added the easy mode to the first two games as well and used a more consistent naming system, making their relative similarity in difficulty more apparent.
Sequel Difficulty Spike: Echoes is considered harder than the other two because of the Dark Aether hazards, the difficult bosses, the vast array of puzzles (particularly those that involve the Morph Ball) and the more labyrinthic layout of the areas explored. The quest for the Sky Temple Keys near the end is also the most difficult Fetch Quest in the series, as it requires more backtracking than that of the Chozo Artifacts in the first game and the Energy Cells in the third (not counting the Octoliths in Hunters, whose collection already becomes the main priority since the beginning).
Sequel Escalation: In Prime and Echoes Phazon threatened only one planet at a time, and was limited to specific areas. In Corruption Phazon is all of a sudden a massive threat to the entire galaxy, and has spread everywhere, even inside Samus. This is justified as Phaaze, the source of the Phazon, is now under Dark Samus's strategic control rather than flinging seeds randomly.
Sequel Hook: See Or Is It above. Also, scanning a certain monitor in Corruption gives you the message "Metroid project 'Dread' is nearing final stages of completion". In real life, Metroid Dread, was rumored to be in development for an incredibly long time—but never saw release. It was hotly anticipated, mostly because it was suspected that it would return to the franchise's side-scrolling roots. Word of God is that it hasn't been officially cancelled and may still come out someday, hence the nod in Corruption.
Thanks to a possible case of trying to fix this on Retro's side, the developers seemingly to want to force a subversion of this, particularly in the first Prime. When Retro saw how many ways the game's sequence could be twisted and mangled, the game's Player's Choice re-release saw the removal of an important sequence breaking move (the Scan Dash) and impenetrable locks that won't release until you have done the required tasks.
Serial Escalation: Pretty much everything in the trilogy. The highlight is Phazon, which is constantly spreading and invariably made almost everything in the games berserk and badass.
In Corruption, no attempt is made to explain where all that extra mass comes from when Gandrayda turns into Ghor in his ginormous powered armor. Lampshaded in the Federation logbook entry for "Hunter Gandrayda" that says, "Can assume the form and abilities of most living things, including bioforms considerably larger than the subject". Then there's the fact that she can become a swarm of bots.
This trope applies to Samus as well; there's no way she would be able to fit into her Morph Ball form without, well... morphingnote She seems to turn into energy, if the glowy part seen through the cracks is any indication. This is lampshaded in one of the Pirate Logs you can find in Prime. While the Space Pirates have been diligently reverse-engineering all of Samus' technology, enough test subjects with broken spines makes them abandon Morph Ball research, rather quickly.
Pirate Log(excerpt): "Aran's Power Suit technology remains a mystery, especially the curious Morph Ball funciton. All attempts at duplicating it have ended in disaster: four test subjects were horribly broken and twisted when they engaged our Morph Ball prototypes. Science Team wisely decided to move on afterward."
Shoulders of Doom: The PED Suit in Corruption makes the normal Varia Suit versions slightly smaller, but the Hazard Shield add-on bumps them back up to Varia size. The Dark Suit in Echoes has ridiculous looking shoulders. The Light Suit actually makes them normal-looking.
Several to the Alien franchise. Ridley the pirate is named after director Ridley Scott, and the opening shot of Prime is almost identical to that of the first film. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example is the name of the planet that houses one Federation shipyard, where the GFS Olympus and Samus' gunship (the one used in Echoes; she goes through gunships like other people go through tissues) were built: Aliehs III.
A "Horus Rebellion" is mentioned early in the third game and can be taken as one to the "Horus Heresy" of Warhammer 40,000. This is likely Retro returning the favor, as 40K novels Horus Rising and Know No Fear feature a daemon named Samus.
"The Pirate attacks must have the old man nervous."
"No kidding. Last time this many fighters were scrambled was during the Horus Rebellion."
Sole Surviving Scientist: In Metroid Prime 3, on the planet of Bryyo, you can read the journal entries of the last surviving scientist, as he tries to keep the world from suffering an environmental collapse. He fails.
Superweapon Surprise: Don't mess with Chozo statues... just, don't: "Those who defile [our statues] shall know our wrath, unfettered and raw."
The Swarm: Ingstorm, dozens, hundreds of tiny little Ing-forms, that delight in finding cracks in your armor, no matter how small, and eating. It's like not having the Dark Suit all over again, except the Ingstorm does considerably more damage. Seriously, don't go into Ingstorms without the Light Suit. It's one of the single most damaging hazards in the series, moreso than superheated rooms or lava or anything except possibly the acid rain.
Sword and Gun: Energy Scythe and Blaster, rather, for the Prime-series Pirates.
Justified in Prime, a pirate log notes that the weak enemies in the first part of the game was the result of an attempt to avoid detection by a federation battle cruiser. Now that the cruiser is gone, they can appear out in the open and fight Samus with full force. Echoes makes a mention that controlling three sectors instead of four means the enemy can concentrate its forces better.
Meanwhile in Corruption, on the Olympus, each turret you summon and destroy as a result of being less-than-nice with your blaster summons a more powerful turret. The third turret is an instant kill, no matter what.
Periodically, the Pirates in Corruption will throw Phazon grenades at you. In either of the previous two games, this probably would've done significant damage but in Corruption, it automatically throws you into Super Mode for free, meaning those pirates are typically dead about 10 seconds after they throw the grenade. However, if you are already in Hypermode at the time, it causes a Hypermode failure.
Subverted in Corruption; When a meteor is coming down on Norion, you can take all the time you want and it will never get any closer. However, once you defeat Meta Ridley, you have 5 minutes left before impact regardless of how long you took to get to that point.
Tech Demo Game: While all three games have impressive graphics for their time and platform, Corruption was a major proof-of-concept for FPS motion controls on the Wii. Many critics agreed that the game proved that the Wii Remote could be used to make serious "hardcore" action games, and not simply casual games.
Techno Wreckage: The Crashed Frigate in Prime, the Celestial Archives vessel in Hunters and the GFS Valhalla in Corruption.
Technology Porn: Present throughout the entire series, especially in the cutscenes. Sanctuary Fortress in Echoes basically takes it to Scenery Porn levels.
Technicolor Toxin: Taken to extreme levels in Metroid Prime 2. The dark world has toxic purple water, toxic purple sky (you take damage from walking around in the dark world unless you are in a safe zone), and (often) purple enemies.
Shooting regular enemies (particularly weakest ones such as wasps) with missile combos. Waste of ammo, but entertaining.
Hitting Plated Beetles with the Wavebuster will cause them to have a spasm.
Blasting one of the various large groups of tiny enemies with the Sonic Boom (the strongest Missile Combo in Echoes) is nearly guaranteed to give Samus a full power-up in terms of ammo and energy, making it an interesting case of Video Game Cruelty Potential.
Tidally Locked Planet: Planet Bryyo in Corruption has this characteristic. According to the lore data, 48% of the planet's surface is in perpetual daytime (thus very hot), 48% is in perpetual nightime (thus very cold), and the remaining 4% has a temperate climate that allows the existence of cliffs and jungles.
The Annihilator Beam, though very useful, eats through your ammo rather quickly. On the other hand, because of the way enemies drop ammo, using the Annihilator Beam on swarm enemies like Hydlings tends to result in getting more ammo than you had began with.
The Sonic Boom charge combo takes this Up to Eleven; ten missiles and thirty shots of both beam weapons all compacted into a single blast. Expensive, but it is every bit as powerful as the ingredients, and the name, suggest.
Cordite is a propellant explosive used in large-calibre naval guns. The Chozo made wall hangings from it and the Space Pirates use it for hatch covers. How their entire civilizations avoided spontaneously exploding is not clear.
Tron Lines: Used frequently throughout the series.. Most commonly used to indicate active power lines, often as a puzzle requiring Samus to re-arrange component parts to power specific items. And as Samus gets progressively more Phazon corrupt through Corruption, her PED Suit shows these. Particularly prominent on the Morph Ball.
Updated Re-release: Metroid Prime Trilogy is just that: Prime, Echoes, and Corruption on a single Wii Disc, with Prime and Echoes getting Corruption's control system and achievement-like unlocking system. This can also be considered a Regional Bonus, as the Trilogy collection is only getting released in western countries with the extra content, the Japanese market having received the two older wii-makes as separate games earlier in the year.
Underground Monkey: Echoes recycled a lot of enemies from Prime with new models. Some were barely changed (like the recoloured Triclops) while others were given a complete overhaul, the Beetle becoming the much smaller Splinter, the Elite Pirate the Ingsmasher, Baby Sheegoths becoming Grenchlers, Chozo Ghosts becoming Pirate Commandos, etc. There's also a few examples in the games themselves, like the normal / ice / plated Parasites in Prime and the light / dark creatures in Echoes.
Unflinching Walk: Samus partakes in one of these whenever she finishes off a Leviathan in Corruption. She also does one after killing Thardus. One of its rocks bounces off her helmet, and she just looks annoyed that it messed up her walk.
Unwinnable: A couple of glitches in the original games can cause this; if you leave a room before collecting an important item for triggering all the switches in a single go, then save, consider your game screwed. Thankfully, later releases fixed these problems.
Prime ends in the Impact Crater, the impact site of a meteor carrying a horrible toxic mutagen that is the cause of the entire planet's corruption.
Echoes ended in the Sky Temple, the main fortress of the Ing which is also ringed in by the same mutagen from the first game. It is also the dark version of Where It All Began
Corruption tops them all, however, seeing how the final dungeon is you storming Phaaze, an evil sentient planet that is the source of the mutagen that's been the chief cause of the trouble through the whole trilogy.
Hunters deserves honorable mention for ending in the prison to a species-killing Eldritch Abomination, accessible only by blasting a hole in reality.
Unreadably Fast Text: The corrupted data at the beginning of Corruption; it includes the words "Wii Format", and some German text with the word "Kaempfen (to fight)".
When you first witness the Space Pirate boarding pod latch onto the ship, the two marines at the end of the hall will be picked off by pirates unless you sprint over to repel boarders, while the next room has a trio of crawltanks rapidly blowing up crates that an injured marine is hiding behind. Keeping the marines alive will net you a bonus credit for each room.
There is a point where you can save a lowly GCF trooper from being sucked out into space, with a quick shot from the arm cannon, when a corridor decompresses during a pirate attack, or you could let him die and the room will seal automatically in a few seconds. Saving him nets you another credit.
It is entirely possible to free Metroids in rooms containing other enemies (like Space Pirates), then leave the room (unless the door locked behind you) in Prime. And then there's the room that actually encourages it: There's a force field keeping Metroids penned up, with Space Pirates in a lab on the other side. This force field is in your way. The controls can be scanned from too far away for the pirates to notice you, and you can easily wait in the upper section for the Metroids to finish off the Pirates.
Raiding the Space Pirates' base as much as you want with all of your upgrades. The joy in this is to use every piece of weaponary on them as much as you want. If you use a cheat, you can use the Phazon Beam and torture them while in Hyper-Mode (first Prime's version, not Corruption).
In the Chozo Temple's grand entryway, you can see a bird-like species flying in the sky. Careful aim will reduce them to an explosion of feathers. There is no advantage or reason to do this except to twirl your Snidley Whiplash moustache.
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Attack the Federation troops on the GFS Olympus will result in an automated turret coming down to deal with your hide. Destroy two of these and a final turret comes down that's indestructible and kills you on the spot, no questions asked.
Villain-Based Franchise: Though it stars Samus... Whose name is in the title? That's right. Who's the final boss of all three games? That's right. Interestingly, the Metroid Prime doesn't reach Big Bad status until the third installment; spending the first game sealed up in a cave, and the second gorging on Phazon and taking pot shots at Samus.
Villain Decay: The Space Pirates get hit hard with this in Echoes—after being the driving menace of the first game, they are abruptly downgraded into a recurring nuisance to Samus— but this can be justified by the game wanting to play up the threat of the Ing and Dark Samus, and that the Pirate force you fight is a very small reconnaissance/mining team that was critically low on manpower, supplies, and morale. They also go through this in Corruption, in which they become mind-controlled pawns of Dark Samus. Though to their credit, having her leading them did make them a rather serious threat to the galaxy, so to some degree it's an inversion.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Flaahgra is one of the earliest bosses yet is pretty tough for first timers. Especially if said first-timers miss the Charge Beam. It's fairly conspicuous, but if you don't explore much, you will miss it. Also, the Alpha Splinter/Dark Alpha Splinter in the second game, made better(worse?) that the much easier warmup boss, the dark missile trooper, is completely optional and easy to miss.
There are hallways where the walls are covered in eyeball enemies that shoot lasers as they look around. Echoes also had numerous decorations on the wall that resembled eyes; scanning them reveals that they're biological cameras transmitting images to U-Mos.
In Corruption, the interior of the Leviathan starship is covered in dozens of eyes. You can even shoot them for an achievement!
Metroid Prime 2 has the Chykka, guardian of Dark Torvus, who spawns Chykklings during the fight against her. This generally makes the fight easier, since Chykklings are easily destroyed and usually drop profuse amounts of health and ammo.
In Metroid Prime 3, the Fargul Hatcher (which appears in only one spot on the planet Bryyo) uses this form of attack by spawning a wave of Fargul Wasps at Samus.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Toward the beginning of Echoes, Ing steal 7 of your items, including the Missile Launcher. While you get a brand new Missile Launcher not too long after, the other 6 are retrieved from those very Ing that stole them in the first place. Which means there's still a Missile Guardian wandering around somewhere. Though it's possible that the Dark Missile Trooper that Samus fights near where she first entered the area was the Missile Guardian, but the scan and model suggests it was just a dead trooper armed with a missile launcher rather than enhanced with it by the Ing.
The turrets on the Olympus vessel. Shoot (or shoot at) a fellow GF crewman, and they deploy. These are easy to destroy, deploying a second wave that is tougher than the first. The third round of turrets have an indestructible energy shield, and unless you hightail it out of the room, they will kill you with one hit. Even when you're in Hypermode.
Womb Level: Phaaze. The Impact Crater resembles a fossilized version; most notably in the Phazon Core room one finds giant teeth and a cankered bone pillar, as if a Leviathan's flesh is gone and all that's left is a hollowed-out cavern and bones. Leviathans themselves are Womb Boss Chambers.
X-Ray Vision: The X-Ray Visor is the only thing that can target shifting Chozo ghosts and nets you an Easter Egg of Samus's trigger finger.
Yin-Yang Bomb: The Light and Dark Beams in Echoes combine to form the Annihilator Beam.